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The Perils Of Being Single
Alright, so about those other dates I alluded to last week. A few months after Vegas and I call it quits romantically, I did the unthinkable-the mockable-but one of the only ways to get a date for a single mom who doesn’t get out much due to the aforementioned single mom-ness. Internet dating. I’ve heard such horror stories about it. I think I’ve been one of the lucky ones since I’ve never had a date where the guy looked nothing like his picture or was completely different from what he said he was like in his profile.
In the first few months after my divorce, this was the first avenue I tried. I had some success with it-several good dates and a good bit of no-pressure fun. I eventually met someone through a different website altogether, so that was the end of my internet dating experience for about eighteen months. Within the last couple of months, I decided to try it again. What the hell, right?
I painstakingly write a profile-which I hate doing. Even if you’ve never done this particular activity, you know the feeling. It’s the same one you get when you’re told to do a self-evaluation at work. As my former boss told me, “you might as well brag on yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.” Good point, eh? However, I don’t think I necessarily want to mention in a personals profile that I’m well-organized, have a strong attention to detail, and know a lot of math. While I’m sure something like that would draw out a whole other set of freaks, I went with something a little more basic but less boring…mostly.
The next painstaking part of setting up a personals profile involves selecting the type of person you’d like to meet. I hate this almost as the self-aggrandizing you have to do when describing yourself. For instance, height. I want to see the person who picks s/he want to only date someone 4’6” and shorter or 7’6” and taller. I’ll admit I have a height “thing” as superficial as it sounds. I’m fairly tall for a woman, and having been raised around all men who were all over 6’, I simply gravitate toward taller, bigger guys. Yes, I’ve dated guys my height or a hair shorter, and no, it didn’t bother me-I’m not that superficial. It was definitely a feature I had to acclimate myself to as it is way out of my norm. Sue me. If that’s the worst shit I’ve done, then damn it, I’m getting to the Promised Land.
Now, the only problem with picking out the different physical, social, and emotional qualities in a “match” is that MEN NEVER READ THEM. Seriously, it pisses me off because have I taken the time to painstakingly set out what my “must have” options are for a guy-ya know, cooks, cleans, does the dishes, pleasures me endlessly, and shuts the fuck up when he’s supposed to – and here comes some dumb bastard who does not
I know, I know. Love comes in all shapes and sizes. I don’t fucking care. Don’t come to me if you’re a circle trying to fit in my box (yes, I see what I did there). One day I must have been in a nice-ish mood because this guy, I’ll call him Joe, sent me an email. Now, he fit a good bit of the things I was looking for except the age. I think I had it set to my preferred age no more than say 8 years older. This guy was 16 years older than me. Sixteen sounded like a lot of years to me-that made him 48 years old. Hmm…I’m 32, he’s 48. He’s probably already receiving his AARP mailings while I’m still looking at Highlights magazines. It did make me feel oddly very young thinking about it, but as I said, I was in a good mood and responded. We set up a date for a week later as I’m not one to waste a lot of time chatting on email and IM only to find out there’s no chemistry. I’ve already told you my thoughts on kissing. No chemistry is bad, bad, bad.
Joe and I meet at a bar late one Sunday night. No pressure. No agonizing dinner. Just drinks to see if there is anything “there”. We meet, talk a lot, and laugh a good bit. To be honest, a good bit of that laughing on my part can be directly attributed to the three or four screwdrivers I drank.
There’s enough physical interest for me to want to see him again. Apparently for him, dating women my age is his modus operandi. Granted, if I were an older woman, I’d want to tell him to fuck off because HEY, what’s wrong with dating women your age, buddy!” I digress…The bottom line is he doesn’t look that old, so I’m not as put off by the whole thing than I was initially. He’s very active and looks very healthy and happy. Good enough for me.
Over the course of the next several weeks, I have dinner at his house, and we went out several more times. I met his 19 year old daughter which was a surprise meeting and a little bit of a shock. I look more like someone who could have been her best friend instead of someone who’s dating her dad.
Fast forward about six weeks. Out of nowhere, I get a couple of emails from him that are pretty heavy-handed talking about having a relationship. Whoa whoa whoa. What? I’d been very upfront from day one that I wasn’t ready for anything like that anytime soon and that I’d be going out with another guy if I was asked. At the time he seemed okay. Wellllll, I guess he forgot that little bit. He was emailing me from out of town, which happened a good bit, but I really don’t care to discuss topics like this via email. Relationship decisions via email with someone who lived in my state? Uh, no.
But he kept pushing. And pushing. After one particular email, I reminded him a little more firmly that I told him I’d be seeing other people. That I’d told him I wasn’t interested in a relationship just yet, if at all. I’d been nothing if not honest. The final death email included the following statements: “I guess I could change and simply look at you or whomever I am attracted to as simply fun and a good time (note, this is exactly what I’d been telling him!). Maybe I was raised to respect women.”
What.the.fuck. How does me being honest about what I want with respect to dating translate somehow into a respect issue?
I realized then and there that we were just worlds apart in our dating mentality, and we’d never find a common ground. I ended it very soon after that email.
It’s too bad, ya know. I probably could have had some fun hitting the bars with his kids.
DR finds lots of things funny after a few scredrivers... Even old men.